Cannes Lions

Women Will Lead, Create and Inspire


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In a recent UNDP Report, empowering women and girls is key to unlocking Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and the African Union 2063 plan. According to the 2018 Global Gender Gap report, if current rates are maintained, the overall global gender gap will close in 135 years in Sub-Saharan Africa compared to 61 years in Western Europe.

Across the continent, access to wi-fi is limited and mobile data expensive. Also a sense of community and in-person education is important.


While the gender gap persists, women are unable to fulfil their potential. Digital skills are their tool for success, and our instrument for making the workplace more equal.

So how do we give these tools to as many women as possible?

In the week running up to International Women’s Day (IWD), we held a festival of events across 25 cities in Sub-Saharan Africa. We created content including inspirational career talks, workshops, digital skills masterclasses and community groups. All to help women grow in confidence and learn new skills, enabling them to enter employment or set up and grow businesses.

To launch these events and increase awareness of our Grow with Google online platform, we made a short film telling the stories of female musicians across Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya. Celebrating how, with the right skills, women can achieve anything, and inspiring the next generation to reach their ambitions.


Events: A sense of community and in-person education is important. So, we created face-to-face training programs, events and online training to reach as many women as possible. Including career workshops, digital skills masterclasses, Q&As and inspirational talks to develop confidence.

We worked with local partners to reach women of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.

Films:To inspire more women than those who could attend our events, we created a short film to promote the GwG platform through the stories of influential African musicians.

Access to wi-fi is limited and data expensive so we created versions of our film to suit different viewers and drive maximum engagement.

10 minute film - launched the IWD events to inspire our audience.

30 second trailer - influencer and Google social channels to tease the 10 minute film.

3 minute cut-down - allowing online viewers without incurring high data costs used on Google’s growth marketing channels.


Executing events:

Training and masterclasses held at businesses and in communities with our training partners.

‘IamRemarkable’ sessions (Google’s women’s empowerment training, delivered by trained Google employees) in Kenya and South Africa during the week of IWD.

Three flagship events on IWD in Johannesburg, Lagos and Nairobi with training, masterclasses and inspirational speakers.

Distributing film:

Screened at three Womenwill and Grow with Google events on IWD for thousands of women (future screenings throughout 2019).

The musicians featured in the film attended each of the three flagship events - highlighting the importance of leadership, entrepreneurship, digital literacy and mentoring across any profession.

We used social influencers and our channels to distribute the film.

The women featured in our fim shared on their channels with a reach of 7.2M

26 Google Station (free wi-fi locations) featured the film.

Shared the video through our own social marketing channels to local Africa and global audiences.


Results in 5 days leading up to International Women’s Day:

In-person training results:

4,700 women trained across the regions in 25 cities across SSA from cities to rural communities.

44 live masterclasses, talks and training.

Online training results:

129% increase in registrations for Digital Skills training.

20% uplift in traffic to Google Africa’s Grow with Google training site.

13.7% increase in people trained.


Ongoing video views:

Received +1.2M views with no media spend.

+15K views of the full film (This was not expected - we didn’t anticipate that people would use their data allowances to watch such long content, which is usually reserved for much loved sit-coms and local soap operas.)

788K views of 30 second trailer

392K views of the 3 minute cut down

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